x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Indian board also to blame for Sehwag missing out in England

It would have made perfect sense for Sehwag to go under the knife as soon as India won the World Cup in April. Instead he played 11 IPL games before the shoulder packed up.

In just over a fortnight, Lord's will witness the 2,000th Test match. It will also be the opening contest of an unofficial Test world championship, between the top-ranked Indians and an improving England.

India start the heavyweight clash with a handicap. For David Haye a couple of nights ago, it was a broken little toe that ruined chances of taking Wladimir Klitschko's belts.

India will go to Lord's without Virender Sehwag, whose appetite for landing haymakers with the bat is unparalleled. While he is part of India's 17-man squad, Sehwag is likely to miss at least the first fortnight of the tour. With the Trent Bridge Test scheduled just four days after Lord's, he could miss half the series.

It should never have come to this. Along with Sachin Tendulkar, Sehwag was been central to India's charge up the Test rankings in the past three years.

Indian cricket authorities have been aware of the state of his shoulder for a couple of years now. With such an important series on the horizon, it would have made perfect sense for him to go under the knife as soon as India had ended nearly three decades of World Cup hurt in April.

Instead, Sehwag played 11 Indian Premier League games for the Delhi Daredevils before the shoulder packed up.

The cynics find it easy to blame players' greed when such things happen. But there is no overstating the pressure that the India board puts on leading players to turn out in the IPL

Should India lose to England, with one of their batting talismans missing half the series, fans will be perfectly entitled to ask for another kind of decision-review system.